July Stashbusting Sewalong: Dresses

Musings of a SeamstressHey stashbusters, this month is all about stitching up those fantastic dresses you have been planning.  I am so excited to be hosting this month!  If you are not yet familiar with the Stashbusting Sewalong, let me introduce you.  We are running a year long sewalong to curb our insatiable fabric collecting tendencies.  Each month there is a different theme to inspire you to sew up you stashed fabrics.  All themes are completely optional, so if one is not quite your thing you can sew up whatever you want that month.  As long as you are sewing through your stash you are on the right track.  You can join our group on Facebook and Flickr.Musings of a Seamstress

Personally, Iam on the quest for the perfect dress to wear to a wedding I am attending in August.  I have come up with a few patterns and fabric combinations that I think would work, so I am going to make them all up this month then pick one to wear.  I also have a some posts planned out for different ways to finish dress hems, picking the best dress style for your body types, and adding your own spin on a pattern.McCall's 6073 M6073

I hope you can join along this month!  It should prove to be a great opportunity to use some of those gorgeous fabrics you have been holding onto.

Are you in?

Simplicity 1355 Maxi Dress

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355This past week I did a little stashbusting and I am pretty stoked about it.  I made Simplicity 1355 view B, the maxi dress.   I styled it with my version Simplicity 2227 that I made back in April and one of my favorite tan belts.  I ended up using 2 yards of stashed scuba from Girl Charlee that I bought on Black Friday last year and some small scraps of white swimwear lining for the straps. The total cost of this dress, $7.00.  SCORE!!Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355This pattern has pockets, so you know it had me from the start! Originally, The pattern had a seam down the center front of the skirt with a slit. I opted  to put both the front and back skirt pieces on the fold because I didn’t want to have to print match a seam in the center front.  It just looks cleaner to me with out it.  I still wanted to put a slit in it for movement, so I put one in each side seam.Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355For fit I made just a couple of alterations.  First, the amount of ease in the side seam is out of control!   I ended up taking out 3″ from the top of each underarm and tapering it down to nothing in the side seam of the bodice.  I also ended up taking 3″ out of each strap too.  Without those alterations the dress just hung so low below the band of my bra that I knew I would be uncomfortable wearing it.  Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355My only real issue with the finished dress is the back. The cross over is so low my bra hangs outs the top, plus the straps do not quite hit in the right spot to cover my bra straps.  This probably means I should just find a different bra to go with this dress.Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355 Overall, I am pretty pleased with the outcome of this dress.  I like it paired with my denim jacket and I think it would work great with one of my white cardigans too.  I hope to wear this a lot this summer and try to make the jumpsuit version too.  You can read my full review of the pattern here on Pattern Review.

For now I am off to sew up another chevron maxi.

This always happens…

On Friday I went to Jo-Ann’s to get some lightweight flannel plaid to make new pajama shorts for Eric.

Musings of a Seamstress - PlaidThis is the fabric that I picked.  It is 2 yards of the same fabric as I made his other pair out of just a different colorway and plaid weave.  He really likes the other pair and with it being so warm he needs another pair, so I need to get on that this week.

Then this happened.

Musings of a Seamstress - Chevron

I couldn’t help myself and found myself perusing the Red Tag fabrics which were 50% off their clearance prices.  This large navy and white chevron print stole my attention.  Then I felt it and discovered it is some sort of soft ITY stretchy knit.  I was a goner!  I had to have it and so 3 yards of this goodness came home with me.  Plus, I am participating in the Maxi Dress Sewalong that Amy and Ashley are hosting, so it will definitely get used this month.


Immediately I thought I wanted to make Simplicity 1804 view A, which I have made in the past.  I mostly wanted to make this pattern because the fabric is the same print just different colorways than the one on the pattern envelope.  That dress in that print is why I bought this pattern.  I love my other version, but do I really need two versions  of the same dress?


The other pattern I have been dying to make is S1355.  I want to make the jumpsuit but for this fabric I want to make the maxi dress.  Only I want to change the skirt portion.  I want to put the fabric on the fold instead of having a seam and a slit in center front.  This way I don’t have to do any print matching and I get a clean look in the front.  I also want to move the slits to each side seam so I still get the room for movement.  If I don’t use this fabric for this dress, I have two other Girl Charlee fabrics that would work well for this pattern too.

Now, I ask you all, which dress should I make?

Simplicity 1801 Review

Musings of a Seamstress - S1801Of course I made a new maxi dress!  Maxi’s are my favorite summer uniform. I cut and started this dress in May, but didn’t get to finish it until this week.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801

I love this dress!  The biggest change I made was that I used a knit instead of a woven like the pattern calls for. Because of this change I eliminated the zipper and made the dress a size smaller than I normally would.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801 I also added an underlining to the the entire bodice and an interlining to the yokes as well as the belt to help support the weight/stretch of the ITY skirt.

Musings of a Seamstress S180

I eliminated the facing around the neckline in favor of a narrow turned and stitched seam finish.

Musings of a Seamstress

Before alterations

I also had to make a minor adjustment to the center front.  Much like when I made Simplicity 1804, the neckline of S1801 was way too low cut for my preference.

Musings of a Seamstress

To solve that issue I took my center front seam up 2.5″.  When taking it up, I ended up taking out about 5/8″ more.

Musings of a Seamstress

After alterations

Taking it up definitely helped.  I am much more comfortable with this neckline.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801

The best part of this pattern is that it has pockets!  I think all dresses I make should now include pockets.

Musings of a SeamstressThis back view is kinda wonky with all that bulky fabric at the waist.  I think I am just standing funny with my hip popped weird.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801


I ended up using 3 yards of purple and tan sparkly heathered ITY knit from Fabric Mart, $3.00.  For the underlining I used half yard of black swimwear lining from Jo-Ann’s, $4.59.  Total cost for this new maxi is $7.59.  Pretty darn good in my book.  Oh and all 3.5 yards of fabric came from my stash.  That brings my total stash fabric used this year to 49.25 yards.

You can read my full review on Pattern Review.

Me Made May Days 25-31

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 25: Monday

Ahhh…Memorial day, a day off of work.  I wore my newest version of McCall’s 6559, which was made way back in March.  This version used exactly 1 yard of a teal ponte that has been in my stash since 2012. It is a little short than I would normally wear though, so next time I will add about 3″ to the hem.  I believe the fabric was from a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart, so I am estimating the cost to be around $1.50.  I will for sure take that cost for a new dress.  I also wore it with my Butterick 5789 vest.  This is the third time I wore this vest this month and I cannot seem to get enough of it.  I originally made it specifically to be worn with this dress though.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 26: Tuesday

This is one of my favorite makes from last year, McCall’s 5974!  This fabric is so bright and fun.  It stands completely on it’s own in my wardrobe.  Nothing I own or have made comes anywhere close to the intensity of these colors.  I did also wear the original wearable muslin version of this dress later in the day as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 27: Wednesday

This was an incredibly hard day.  The Thursday before I learned that my oldest and dearest friends’ mom had passed away after a battle with cancer and Wednesday was her funeral.   I have been friends with this person for 24 years now and know her family pretty well.  Her mom was an amazing women who taught me a lot.  The one that I will always remember from when we were younger was when I asked her why she was wearing sunglasses in the winter because I had always associated sunglasses with being for summer only (I don’t know what to say other than I was a weird kid).  She looked at me and laughed and said “Well the sun is still out now, isn’t it”.  She was like a second mom to me often and I will never forget her.  In preparing to go home for the funeral I grieved by stressing about what to wear and decided I had  to make a new dress and cardigan.  I decided to go with my standard McCall’s 5974 from 1.75 yards of black ponte and Butterick 5789 from 2 yards black baby hacci sweater knit.  Both are newly purchased fabrics this month from Jo-Ann’s.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 28: Thursday

Big surprise, I wore another version of McCall’s 5974!  I think maybe I need to lay off of this pattern for awhile since I have made 8 versions of it.  I don’t know if that will happen though.  It is just such a well fitting and comfortable pattern that it is my go to summer dress.  We’ll see what I make this summer, as I do have a few other patterns picked out.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 29: Friday

For fear only ever wearing M5974 all week, I choose to wear one of the self drafted skirts I made back during the Adoption Dress project.  This skirt has pockets and a slightly gathered contrast ruffle.  I paired it with a white tank top and wide black belt.  Similar to the McCall’s dress I have about 7 different versions of this skirt as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 30: Saturday

Oldies but goodies for today.   Both the top and the shorts are me made pieces from ages ago.  The top is possibly from 2009 and the shorts are from 2012. The shorts  were way too big in 2012 and not so much anymore, so that kind of sucks.  You know all those awesome “You should be sewing” meme’s Leila keeps making, yeah well, I think I need on that says “You should be running”.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day  31: Sunday

And now we have reached the end of another Me Made May.  Today I wore the self drafted skirt I made back in January/February.  I don’t know what it is about this skirt but I just cannot seem to style it.  I feel like I want to wear one of my wide belts with it but I can’t since I made the waistband wide and ruched.  Also, I just have not liked any of the tops I own with it.  None of the colors go well, except black, and no matter which I choose I feel pretty column like in this look.  I appear to have no shape whatsoever.  I really think it needs a belt.  I don’t know if I will wear this again without changing the waistband.  On a side note, I promise that the hem of this skirt is not angled like the picture makes it look.  I was just standing at an awkward angle, which you can’t even tell because I look like a column.  Ughhh!

Me Made May Days 18-24

Musings of a SeamstressDay 18 Monday

I wore my self drafted chiffon skirt.  I love this skirt and I need to make another one.  Maybe I will write a tutorial for it.
Musings of a Seamstress

Day 19 Tuesday

I wore my white cotton burnout paisley McCall’s 5436 top from forever ago over a turquoise tank top with a red and orange necklace and jeans.  I love the turquoise with the red and orange combination.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 20 Wednesday

I wore my leopard challis Simplicity 1280 with a lilac studded belt and jeans.  This was the first top I made using challis and I don’t know why I waited so long.  I want to make all the things forever with challis!

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 21 Thursday

I wore my Simplicity 1317 top with jeans.  I really like this pattern as evidenced by the 3 versions I have made so far.  More will follow for fall.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 22 Friday

I wore two me made pieces today.  The striped vest is Butterick 5759 that I made in March.  The other is the New Look 6875 top I made way back in 2013.  I have made 2 versions of this top and it is a great basic that I really need to make more of.  That way I do not keep buying RTW versions from Target.  I did make some fabric purchases on Friday as well. One of which was for another version of this vest. Only it has sleeves, so I guess it is a cardigan now. The other was for a dress. More on these later this week.

Musings of a SeamstressDay 23 Saturday

Ha! I didn’t realize it until posting these pictures but the t-shirt I am wearing here is the other version of New Look 6875 I made from 2012.  The sweater I am wearing is McCall’s 6844 made last year from Girl Charlee hacci sweater knit.  I have to say I am not pleased with how this sweater has worn.  The pattern is perfect and I will make several more.  The fabric, however, is a whole other story.  I love Girl Charlee, but this fabric piled as soon as I washed it and it only continues to get worse.  The blue piles onto the white and the white onto the blue.  Maybe I just need to get one of those sweater shaver things, but as it is I am hesitant to buy the hacci sweater knit from GC.  Anyone else have this problem or should I give this fabric another shot?

Day 24 Sunday

No picture for Sunday.  I kinda cheated and just wore my pajama pants.  I did make them so I guess maybe I didn’t cheat.

Me Made May Days 11-17

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 11: Monday   I wore my latest crinkle chiffon top, Simplicity 2365, from March.  Musings of a Seamstress

Day 12: Tuesday I wore another chiffon top, OOP Butterick 5355, that I made so long ago I don’t remember when. Musings of a Seamstress

Day 13: Wednesday  I wore my leopard/floral cardigan, OOP McCall’s 5978.

Musings of a Seamstress


Day 14: Thursday  I wore another chiffon top, McCall’s 5436.  Somehow, I managed to wear 3 different chiffon tops this past week.  I may have an obsession.Musings of a Seamstress

Day 15: Friday I wore my version of Simplicity 1317.  This was a poor decision for the warm temps as it is so think. Definitely a fall top, not a summer top.


Musings of a Seamstress


Day 16: Saturday I wore my McCall’s 6559 maxi.  I really need to hem off about 10″ to make this shorter and fix the current shrinking lining issues at the hem.

Day 17: Sunday  I wore the same Summer Concert Tee I wore the first day of this month because I have reluctantly spent the day cleaning instead of sewing and I am a mess.  Nobody wants to see it!  I am currently working on some pattern testing projects that I can’t wait to share but I had to set them aside for the day.  My house has reached a critical point of messy and I have to take care of it now!

Now that we are over halfway through Me Made May 2015, I have once again noticed a few gaps in my wardrobe that I need to fill.  As always, pants!  I just need to make more/any.  I consistently buy the same pair in the same two washes all the freaking time.  Ugh…I am so bored with that.  I successfully copied a pair of Express jeans  out of red stretch denim for the Fabric Mart Fabricista challenge that I have never made again.  Mostly because I just cannot seem to pull the trigger to buy denim, but also it is just easier to buy a new pair of jeans.

Another need is more casual stay at home tops.  On days like today I want to throw on a loose top and capri leggings.  I do not intend on leaving the house and, in fact, I am going to get my hands dirty by cleaning or doing lawn work or even just sewing all day.  These days are all about comfort and not caring if I get a stain on my shirt.  I definitely need to make some more super basic tees out of some of the stash fabrics that I am not so in love with just to get them out of there.

Have you noticed any gaps in your me made wardrobe so far?

Me Made May Days 7-10

Day 7: Thursday 

Simplicity 3535On Thursday I never got around to taking a full body picture of my outfit because I was at a local artisan event called Yart Sale.  I was so busy checking out everyone’s awesome stuff that I forgot I needed a picture.  However, it wasn’t super exciting.  It was my version of Simplicity 3535 from 2011 paired with jeans.


Musings of a Seamstress

One of the things I did at Yart was go to the new local Yarn store called Yarn Stories, for a yarn tasting featuring Cascade Yarns.  It was a lot of fun.    I tried out two different yarns, the orange is acrylic and the green is wool.  Both were fantastic!  There were quite a few knitters and crocheters there.  I enjoyed talking with them and learned that they regularly meet at the shop to work on their own projects every Thursday.  I am going to try to go back there some time soon with a project to work on.


Musings of a Seamstress The Cascade rep that was there gave everyone  a skein for free too.  Mine was the coral Longwood skein which is 100%  Superfine Merino Wool.  It is so soft.  I haven’t a clue what I want to make with it just yet.  I also purchased the bright green Eco +, which is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool.  This one is also super soft and chunky.  I am not exactly sure what I will make but I know I want it so be some sort of scarf, either infinity or a large cowl.

Musings of a Seamstress MMe Made May Day 8Day 8: Friday

I wore McCall’s 6700, which I made last year for Jungle January.  I wasn’t sure about this dress at first when I made it, but it has grown on me this year.

Sadly, nothing exciting happened on Friday other than going to the grocery store. Woot!

Musings of a Seamstress Me Made May Day 9Day 9: Saturday

As opposed to yesterday, something fun did happen today.  Eric and I went to the Indiamapolis Children’s Museum with our friends and nephews.  I wore my Simplicity 1804 dress that I made last year.  We had a lot of fun at the museum with the boys.  They were super excited about checking out the Transformers and Hot Wheels exhibits.  They also had an exhibit on TV and film with some awesome costumes including Captain Hook’s pirate costume from Hook, Jeannie’s outfit from I Dream of Jeannie and both red Annie dresses from the old and new versions of Annie.  I have a lot of pictures of all the cool stuff, but they are still on my phone.  I will try to get them off and post about them this week.

Musings of a Seamstress Me Made May Day 10

Day 10 : Sunday

Then we come to today, Mother’s Day. I wore my New Look 6875 top with my Butterick 5330 skirt. Both were made in 2012.

This one day is always a bit rough.  I try to avoid Facebook like it has the plague.  I have always equated today to what Valentine’s Day is like for singles.  It is a yearly reminder that my desire for a family is still unfulfilled and I am another year older.  But it is not just me that struggles through this day.  There are also those who have lost their mothers or those that have lost their children.  Those that have strained relationships with their mothers or children.  With that thought in mind I ask that you send out a prayer for thoughts of well wishes for those who do have a hard time today.

Me Made May ’15 Day 6

Musings of a Seamstress


Today I wore my new B5789 (view A) vest.  I made this back in March to go with a dress I will be wearing in a few days.  It was just still too cold to wear it then.  Today it was 85 degrees and sunny, perfect for this vest.

Musings of a SeamstressI decided not to write a full PR review for this as there are quite a few out there already.  What I will say is that this was one of the easiest things I have sewn.  It is only one pattern piece with two small seams to make the shoulders/neckline.    I love it!

I used 2 yards of a cream/off-white and black striped spandex knit from Fabric Mart.  I actually got this fabric for free as part of the Fabricista Challenge I was apart of last fall.  I really like this vest and think I can make it work as part of my year round wardrobe.

I will leave you with this picture.  Please caption away!

Musings of a Seamstress

Me Made May Day 5

Musings of a Seamstress Simplicity 2227
Here is my outfit for day 5 o Me Made May!  The skirt is a self drafted skirt that I made almost 7 years ago.  The denim jacket is one of my newest makes that I had not blogged about yet.  After posting my new dress yesterday, I decided I am going to wear all the new things I have made that remain unblogged so I can remedyDenim jacket that this week.

For this jacket I used Simplicity 2227 view C.  I used 1.5 yards of a non-stretch denim that has been living in my stash for at least 8 years.  I know that I bought it from Jo-Ann’s but I have not a clue as to how much I paid for it.  I also used 7 antique gold metal buttons from the stash, so I am counting this as a free project.

A big thank you goes out to all those who commented on Facebook and Instagram with which button I should use.  Every single person said the gold.  Even those who said they normally like Inside facingsilver, picked the gold.  I am so glad I asked because they are perfect with the jacket.

I really like the way the facing turned out.  Normally I am all for linings in jackets because I feel like it gives them a better structure and more tailored look.  However, with the darts for shaping and the heavyDenim jacket weight denim, I feel that the lining is not necessary.   I even prewashed this denim and it is still stiff and holds it’s shape well.  I wore this all day and it never once started to feel worn out or droopy in the sleeves.

I believe I am going to get a lot of wear out of this jacket this season.   This was the jacket I made intending to wear with yesterday’s dress, but works well with this skirt today.
Denim Jacket

Now, this is an out of print pattern, but it is still available on Simplicity’s website.  If you do own this and haven’t tried it, do it soon.  If you do not have it, I recommend picking it up before it is gone forever.

You can ready my full review of this pattern on Pattern Review.